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7.1.2.2. More about log files

Some Linux programs insist on writing all sorts of output in a log file. Usually there are options to only log errors, or to log a minimal amount of information, for example setting the debugging level of the program. But even then, you might not care about the log file. Here are some ways to get rid of them or at least set some limits to their size:

  • Try removing the log file when the program is not running, if you are sure that you won't need it again. Some programs may even see, when restarted, that there is no log file and will therefore not log.

  • If you remove the log file and the program recreates it, read the documentation for this particular program in search for command options that avoid making log files.

  • Try making smaller log files by logging only the information that is relevant to you, or by logging only significant information.

  • Try replacing the log file with a symbolic link to /dev/null; if you're lucky the program won't complain. Don't do this with the log files of programs that run at system boot or programs that run from cron (see Chapter 4). These programs might replace the symbolic link with a small file that starts growing again.

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